Arco do Teles (Rio de Janeiro): Tucked away in an alley just off the Praça XV, the Arco de Teles reveals perfectly preserved colonial buildings set on narrow cobblestone streets, lined with restaurants and cafes. With over 15 bars and botequins it doesn't matter which one you pick; walk around and see what's doing. If you get there after 10pm you'll be lucky to find a seat at all.
Centro Cultural Carioca (Rio de Janeiro; tel. 021/2252-6468; www.centroculturalcarioca.com.br): This beautifully restored building from the 1920s hosts local musicians and big names who specialize in samba, MPB, choro, and gafieira. The room is cozy and intimate, and guests sit at small tables to watch the shows.
Carioca da Gema (Rio de Janeiro; tel. 021/2221-0043): One of the hottest nightspots in the samba-rich sector of Lapa, Carioca da Gema offers some of the finest pagode and samba. Just steps from the Lapa aqueduct, Carioca da Gema is one of the many small music venues in this funky bohemian neighborhood. The best night is Thursday.
Rua das Pedras (Búzios): The hottest beach resort close to Rio, Búzios is the place to go if you're on a mission to party. Nightlife central is on the Rua das Pedras where the pubs, bars, discos, and restaurants stay open on weekends until 3 or 4am. Enjoy a delicious cocktail at the Anexo Bar and Lounge, or dance until the early hours at popular Ibiza nightclub Pacha.
Skye (São Paulo; tel. 011/3055-4702): One of the city's trendiest bars, Skye also comes with one of the best views in the city. On the Unique Hotel's top floor, the bar's large glass windows and pool deck offer spectacular skyline views of South America's largest city.
Rabo do Peixe (São Paulo; tel. 011/3842-8666): If there is such a thing as a typical Brazilian pub, this is it. On a street corner, the patio fans out on all sides, and tables are packed every day. A great spot to kick off your evening with a cold beer and the best picanha in town.
Pelourinho (Salvador): Many nights of the week Pelourinho transforms itself into one big music venue. Two of the most popular venues are the Praça Quincas Berro D'Agua and the Largo Pedro Archanjo. At the Praça do Reggae, there's always reggae playing.
The Reviver (São Luis): Now that it's been brought back to life, the historic downtown of São Luis has a new name -- Reviver. It's packed with bars and restaurants that center around the Rua da Estrela. One of prettiest is Antigamente (tel. 098/3232-3964). Grab a table outside and enjoy the bustling atmosphere.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.